Zamkuwire.com google.com, pub-3138357808576331, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 google.com, pub-3138357808576331, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0
0 0
Read Time:4 Minute, 8 Second

FILE - Serbia's Novak Djokovic holds the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup after defeating Russia's Daniil Medvedev in the men's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021.Djokovic has had his visa canceled and been denied entry to Australia, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022 and is set to be removed from the country after spending the night at the Melbourne airport as officials refused to let him enter the country for the Australian Open after an apparent visa mix-up.(AP Photo/Mark Dadswell),File)

Novak Djokovic’s chance to play for a 10th Australian Open title was thrown into limbo early Thursday when the country denied him entry and canceled his visa because he failed to meet the requirements for an exemption to COVID-19 vaccination rules.

The top-ranked Djokovic landed in Australia late Wednesday after receiving a medical exemption from the Victoria state government that would shield him from the strict vaccination rules in place for this year’s first major tennis tournament, which begins Jan. 17.

But border authorities did not accept the exemption. The Australian Border Force issued a statement saying Djokovic failed to meet entry requirements.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said the visa cancellation followed a review of Djokovic’s medical exemption by border officials who looked “at the integrity and the evidence behind it.”

The president of Djokovic’s native Serbia’s blasted the “harassment” of the star, who was detained overnight at Melbourne Tullamarine Airport. The 20-time major winner had to wait more than eight hours at the airport to find out if he would be allowed into the country.

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison said nobody was above the rules.

“Mr. Djokovic’s visa has been canceled. Rules are rules, especially when it comes to our borders,” Morrison posted on Twitter. “No one is above these rules. Our strong border policies have been critical to Australia having one of the lowest death rates in the world from COVID, we are continuing to be vigilant.”

 

FILE - Serbia's Novak Djokovic holds the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup after defeating Russia's Daniil Medvedev in the men's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021.Djokovic has had his visa canceled and been denied entry to Australia, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022 and is set to be removed from the country after spending the night at the Melbourne airport as officials refused to let him enter the country for the Australian Open after an apparent visa mix-up.(AP Photo/Hamish Blair,File)

Hunt said Djokovic was free to appeal the decision. “But if a visa is canceled, somebody will have to leave the country.”

Australian media reported that Djokovic’s team applied for the wrong type of visa.

The medical exemption had been designed to allow Djokovic to play in the Australian Open, regardless of his vaccination status for COVID-19. He has spoken out against vaccines in the past and has steadfastly refused to acknowledge whether he received any shots against the coronavirus.

Djokovic’s father, Srdjan Djokovic, told the B92 internet portal that his son was held at the airport “in a room which no one can enter” and guarded by two police officers.

Djokovic’s participation in the Australian Open has been a hot political topic, with many Australians furious that he was granted an exemption to enter the country.

Meanwhile, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic said on Instagram that he spoke to Djokovic while he was being held at the airport. He said Serbian authorities were taking measures “so the harassment of the best tennis player in the world be stopped in the shortest possible time.”

Speculation of a possible issue with the visa emerged while Djokovic was in transit and escalated with mixed messages from federal and state lawmakers.

Djokovic’s revelation on social media that he was heading to Australia seeking a record 21st major title sparked debate, with critics questioning what grounds he could have for the exemption and backers arguing that he has a right to privacy and freedom of choice.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley defended the “completely legitimate application and process” and insisted there was no special treatment for Djokovic.

A fan of Serbia's Novak Djokovic in the arrivals hall at Melbourne Airport ahead of the Australian Open in Melbourne, Australia, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022. Djokovic had received the medical exemption he needed to play at the Australian Open but the 20-time major champion was delayed by border officials from entering the country. (AP Photo/Hamish Blair)FILE - Serbia's Novak Djokovic after defeating Croatia's Marin Cilic during their Davis Cup tennis semi-final match at Madrid Arena in Madrid, Spain, on Dec. 3, 2021. Top-ranked Novak Djokovic has withdrawn from the ATP Cup in Australia ahead of the first Grand Slam of the season. Cup organizers didn't give a reason. The 34-year-old Serbian has declined to comment on his vaccination status in recent months and Australia’s strict regulations require all players, officials and fans to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue)

The Victoria state government mandated that only fully vaccinated players, staff, fans and officials could enter Melbourne Park when the tournament begins.

Only 26 people connected with the tournament applied for a medical exemption and, Tiley said, only a “handful” were granted.

Among the acceptable reasons for an exemption are acute major medical conditions, serious adverse reaction to a previous dose of COVID-19 vaccine or evidence of a COVID-19 infection within the previous six months.

Djokovic tested positive for the coronavirus in June 2020 after he played in a series of exhibition matches that he organized in Serbia and Croatia without social distancing amid the pandemic.

Concerns about Djokovic’s visa status took a while to circulate.

Morrison initially said the medical exemption decision was a matter for the government of Victoria, where Melbourne is the state capital.

“They have provided (Djokovic) with an exemption to come to Australia, and so we then act in accordance with that,” Morrison said. “States provide exemptions for people to enter on those basis, and that’s been happening for the last two years.”

Home Affairs Minister Karen Andrews then clarified the border process.

 

FILE - Serbia's Novak Djokovic holds the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup after defeating Russia's Daniil Medvedev in the men's singles final at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Sunday, Feb. 21, 2021.Djokovic has had his visa canceled and been denied entry to Australia, Thursday, Jan. 6, 2022 and is set to be removed from the country after spending the night at the Melbourne airport as officials refused to let him enter the country for the Australian Open after an apparent visa mix-up.(AP Photo/Andy Brownbill,File)

“While the Victorian government and Tennis Australia may permit a non-vaccinated player to compete in the Australian Open, it is the Commonwealth government that will enforce our requirements at the Australian border,” Andrews said. “If an arriving individual is not vaccinated, they must provide acceptable proof that they cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons to be able to access the same travel arrangement as fully vaccinated travelers.”

When asked again about Djokovic’s case later Wednesday, Morrison added: “If that evidence is insufficient, then he won’t be treated any different to anyone else and he’ll be on the next plane home.”

Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %

By Davies

Average Rating

5 Star
0%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.